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Matt Hancock: why I’m backing Boris

16 June 2019

9:15 PM

16 June 2019

9:15 PM

The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, dropped out of the leadership race last week and had been mulling whether to support Michael Gove (odds: 25/1) or Boris Johnson (1/5). In the end, he went for Boris. In an article in The Times, he says more. Here’s an edited extract.

Central to my outlook is that we need to be optimistic about our country, take an optimistic view of human nature, and get this country moving forward with energy and vim. Because I care about people’s chances in life, I also care deeply about the best way to stop Jeremy Corbyn becoming prime minister. Boris has run a disciplined campaign and is almost certainly going to be our next prime minister. We need to unite behind him with a strong team that can bring the party together and then bring the country together. After any debate like this, people need to put aside their differences for a greater purpose. My view is that we need to start coming together sooner rather than later.

Boris is emphatic in public and in private that he wants to be a One Nation prime minister and bring the country together around an optimistic vision for the future… That’s how he ran London — consistently — for eight years. I have repeatedly argued for a strategy of defeating the danger of Farage by delivering Brexit and defeating the danger of Corbyn by dominating the centre ground thereafter. That is Boris’s plan and I wholeheartedly endorse it.

At the heart of my politics is a belief that we must support business, as the engine of prosperity. Boris and I have both used language our mothers might disapprove of in this debate. But I have been reassured, again emphatically, that a Boris administration will be pro-business, pro-enterprise, supportive of the aspirational and the international. That matters to me, and I’ll hold him to that too. I will always fight as the voice of moderation, of aspiration, and for a politics that unites rather than divides. We need that unity in the Conservative party, and then in the country. Let’s move forward.

Full article here.


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